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Location-based mobile apps effective in driving luxury consumers in-store

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August 17, 2011, taken from Luxury Daily, written by Kayla Hutzler

The Beverly Hills Four Seasons' has a location-based appThe Beverly Hills Four Seasons’ has a location-based app


Location-based mobile applications allow luxury brands to highly target their global consumers and offer them real-time offers and information.

Luxury brands can use location-based apps to break down their global audiences, and deliver relevant product information in particular areas. These types of mobile apps are arguably the best way to drive mobile consumers in-store.

“A location-based feature is a prime, low-cost channel to enable engagement and conversion,” said Shanthala Balagopal, product marketing manager at Velti, San Fransisco.

“Providing consumers with real-time offers that can be redeemed [in-store] immediately helps drive sales and increase loyalty,” she said.

“By filling an unexpected need, it delights the customer and nudges faster conversion.”

Buy local
Mobile apps offer brands a direct channel to loyal consumers once the branded app is downloaded.

Therefore, brands should use their apps to help drive sales both in-store and online.

By incorporating a location-based feature, brands can communicate even more effectively with luxury consumers by breaking them down from a global audience to multiple, regional groups.

A regional group allows the brands to offer more real-time information and relevant product pushes based on the local season and trends.

Luxury brands can also use location-based apps to offer real-time, in-store offers or rewards to drive consumers to their nearby stores instead of just to a mobile site.

In addition, 78 percent of retail consumers use location-based apps on their phone, and 29 percent use them multiple times a day, according to a recent survey by JiWire.

Also, location-based feature reports provide brands with valuable insights about their customers.

“With real-time performance reports, campaign optimizations becomes easier and turn-around time is reduced, thereby increasing revenues,” Ms. Balagopal said.

Don’t push it
However, there are a few obstacles that brands may encounter when creating location-based apps, according to Ms. Balagopal.

As with any app, a brand must first convince a consumer to download it and allow for push notifications.

To achieve this, brands should ensure that a user’s first experience with the app is enjoyable and as stress-free as possible.

After this, a brand should only send highly-targeted, relevant push notifications that will be useful to the consumres.

In addition, a brand cannot send too many push notifications or the user will disable notifications or disregard them as spam.

Also, some brands may find that their consumers are having problems connecting to the app when they are in the store. This can be a major problem for the location-based apps that offer a floor map for local stores.

To overcome this, brands should place WiFi in every store.

Some brands are already using location-based mobile apps to engage with affluent consumers.

For example, the Four Seasons has an app that curates experiences around the hotel for customers at its Beverly Wilshire location in Beverly Hills, CA.

In addition, German automaker BMW used a location-based ad campaign and mobile app that allowed users to search for a specific model and find the closest one to their homes.

“Location-based apps are an effective way to drive discovery and conversions in-store,” Ms. Balagopal said.

“However, delighting the customer upon activation will be critical for retaining and converting the customer,” she said.

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York


Kayla Hutzler is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are automotive, consumer electronics, consumer packaged goods, financial services, media/publishing, software and technology, telecommunications, travel and hospitality, real estate, retail and sports. Reach her at kayla@napean.com.

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Written by Kees Winkel

August 17, 2011 at 12:53

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Redbox’s Geo-Social Test Builds on Mobile Success

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By Christopher Heine 

After seeing thousands of Foursquare check-ins without the benefit of any promotion, Redbox will now test the geo-social marketing waters. Starting today, consumers who check in at one of its 28,700 kiosks will receive a discount code for between 10 cents and $1 off their video rental. The discount can be used immediately.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL-based Redbox’s movie rentals cost $1 per title. The promotion runs through Aug. 24 and marks the eight-year-old brand’s first location-based foray.

However, Redbox Marketing VP Amy Gibby told ClickZ News that it ran a similar discounts campaign for 10 days in May that used SMS. The company “received more than 1.5 million texts…via 400,000 unique customers,” she said.

Redbox plans to increasingly focus on location-based marketing because its audience apparently wants it. More than 6 million people have downloaded its 19-month-old iPhone/Android app, which directs them to kiosks while providing real-time movie title availability.

Gibby said testing Foursquare was the next logical step in the brand’s mobile evolution. “Movies are inherently social,” she said, “making geo-social engagement a key component of our forward-looking marketing strategy.”

And its mobile mindset appears to be paying dividends. In Redbox’s most recent quarter, parent company Coinstar reported the video rental brand’s revenue grew 34.5 percent year over year to nearly $364 million.

via Redbox’s Geo-Social Test Builds on Mobile Success | ClickZ.

Written by Kees Winkel

August 15, 2011 at 16:52

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How luxury brands can benefit from location-based mobile apps

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Luxury retailers such as Marc Jacobs and Four Seasons have seen immense response in using location-based mobile applications to drive in-store traffic.

Using applications such as foursquare, SCVNGR and Gowalla, brands can curate an experience for the consumer to increase CRM. Brands largely see an increase in transactions and traffic to their retail locations as a result.

“Brands first have to recognize what they are trying to create for the consumer and where they want the experience to occur,” said Andy Ellwood, New York-based director of business development for Gowalla.

“Once they have their perspective on what a luxurious experience should and could be, they can create an experience for the consumer,” he said. “Like most things in social media, what you put into it is what you get out of it.”

Checking in
Four Seasons used the Gowalla platform to curate experiences for customers at its Beverly Wilshire location in Beverly Hills, CA.

The hotel’s concierges created experiences at venues surrounding the hotel and encouraged customers to go to them.

If customers went to enough places, they had a chance to win a $100 gift card to the Four Seasons spa at the location.


Four Seasons on Gowalla

“They saw a lot of positive feedback and tremendous response from patrons and people staying at the hotel, as well as users of Gowalla who were in the area,” Mr. Ellwood said.

Additionally, Marc Jacobs used foursquare during both September and February Fashion Weeks (see story).

Consumers followed the brand around New York, Britain, France and Italy and could check in at any Marc by Marc Jacobs store.

Consumers unlocked the brand’s “Fashion Victim” badge when they checked in at enough places.

Also, consumers followed brand creative director Marc Jacobs and president Robert Duffy for tips, such as going to the Mercer Street, New York store and saying hi to Robert Rich.

Four random participants won tickets to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 runway show and a VIP meet-up on.

“The new badge for Feb. 11 Fashion Week was a two-week offer,” said Daniel Plenge, Webmaster for Marc Jacobs International, New York.  “At 2:19 a.m. the day the badge went live, I opened up foursquare and saw that 74 users had already checked in to our Mercer Street store, even though it wouldn’t be open for another eight hours.

“The first week, 4,000 users had unlocked the badge and by the end of the second week, over 7,000 users had unlocked the badge,” he said.

Seeking out customers
Luxury brands can also further engage customers with scavenger hunt apps such as SCVNGR, which increase CRM in addition to driving in-store traffic.

For instance, high-street-focused Dylan’s Candy Bar engaged consumers with an in-store scavenger hunt called “Capture That Candy” that used mobile image recognition technology in index mail addresses and awarded mobile coupons.

The company posted clues in its retail locations that prompted consumers to locate specific items within the store.

The consumers took pictures of the items with their mobile devices and emailed the pictures for a chance to win coupons.

Dylan’s saw great success with the campaign, as well.

The entire point of location-based ads is that consumers have a seamless experience. In doing so, it will enable them to build a relationship with the brand and possibly purchase things while they are in retail locations.

“We value that fans of our brand voiced their excitement by mentioning us in their Tweets, their Facebook updates and their blogs before, during and after Fashion Week,” Marc Jacobs’ Mr. Plenge said. ”Personally, I was very happy to meet and chat with the ticket winners at the Marc by Marc Jacobs shows.

“We love building online connections with our fans and aim to nurture those relationships offline,” he said.


Marc Jacobs received much feedback, including Tweets, from the Fashion Badge initiative

Location-based apps will also give them a positive experience, hopefully making them willing to return to the retail location or hotel.

“A lot of folks have seen that location-based apps open up a new way of engaging with people,” Mr. Ellwood said.

“You have to realize that the way people consume information on mobile is different than on the Web, because mobile is on the go,” he said. “Therefore, you have to make sure that it’s a smooth, quick experience that customers shouldn’t jump through hoops for.

“The whole experience should be socially serendipitous and, as a result, the brand will get credit for crafting the experience in a fun and engaging way.”

Final Take
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York



Rachel Lamb is associate reporter on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at rachel@napean.com.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 8, 2011 at 13:01

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LivingSocial takes a bite out of mobile via new LBS deals initiative – Mobile Commerce Daily – Applications

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aily deals giant LivingSocial is offering consumers $1 lunch offers in Midtown Manhattan via its new instant deals feature on its mobile app.

The company is letting consumers find immediate deals at restaurants and attractions within a half-mile radius. The mobile initiative begins on June 8 and users can download the LivingSocial app to partake in the instant deals.

“LivingSocial Instant Deals helps consumers discover new businesses and helps small businesses capture foot traffic without upfront advertising costs or street-side couponing,” said Maire Griffin, communications director at LivingSocial, San Francisco.

“While LivingSocial’s Daily Deals are live for 24 hours, Instant Deals are live for a short period of time,” she said. “In this case, the Midtown Dollar Lunch Day deals are available for purchase starting early the morning of June 8 through the LivingSocial mobile application available for iPhone or Android devices as well as on LivingSocial.com.

via LivingSocial takes a bite out of mobile via new LBS deals initiative – Mobile Commerce Daily – Applications.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 8, 2011 at 14:06

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Next wave of mobile marketing: NFC, QR codes and location-based technology – Mobile Commerce Daily – Columns

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It looks like the next big thing is going on right now.

By Hamilton Chan: Smartphones have quickly become powerful tools for brands and marketers to interact and engage with consumers.

Mobile applications have especially paved the way in mobile marketing strategies, allowing brands to reach their audiences through branded apps and other in-app mobile advertising opportunities.

A new generation of interactive mobile technologies has recently entered the scene that allows us to link real world and digital experiences and communication, among them near field communication (NFC), quick response (QR) codes and location-based services.

These technologies are all driving new channels of interaction between businesses and customers in real-time, context-sensitive environments.

While there is room for all of these technologies to transform how businesses can reach consumers, competing markets and inherent weaknesses within each technology could hinder mainstream adoption.

With this in mind, what should marketers consider before diving into these real-world linking technologies?

via Next wave of mobile marketing: NFC, QR codes and location-based technology – Mobile Commerce Daily – Columns.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 26, 2011 at 09:14

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